Garcia Marquez has dementia, brother says
The celebrated Nobel prize winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez is suffering from dementia and is no longer able to write, his family have announced.
The brother of the Colombian author who won the Noble prize in 1982 said the family had tried to keep the secret, not because there is anything people should not know "but because it's his life and he's always tried to protect it."
"The fact is there are lots of comments. Some are true but they're always filled with morbid (details). Sometimes you get the sense they'd rather he were dead, as if his death were some great news," Jaime Garcia Marquez said.
Addressing students at a lecture in Cartagena he said his 84-year-old brother frequently phones him to ask simple questions.
"He has problems with his memory. Sometimes I cry because I feel like I'm losing him," he said, adding that he had now stopped writing altogether.
Jaime Garcia Marquez, his younger brother, is the first family member to speak publicly about it. "He is doing well physically, but he has been suffering from dementia for a long time," he said. "From a physical standpoint he's doing well, although he now has some memory lapse.
"But he still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had."
Best known for One Hundred Years of Solitude, which has sold more than 30 million copies, Marquez lives in Mexico. His novels include Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold and The General in His Labyrinth.
He has not published anything since the novel, Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores, which was published five years ago to mixed reviews.